Bella Petite Jean Guideling
A Guideline to Great Fitting Jeans Bella Petite Magazine Copyright ©

You can count on Bella Petite to give their readers what they ask for!  Direct quote from ABC News Sharon Phillips to Ann Lauren on Twitter, “I would love to see a story about jeans for people with smaller waists, short torsos and petite in stature. (None of us want that “mom look” when our jeans fit bad.” We assured Ms. Phillips that we would get on it and provide the 411!

Bella-Petite- Hudson-Jeans-Krista-Skinny-for-Petite-Women
Hudson Krista Skinny Jeans true to fit!

If you’re petite fit or plus-sized, chances are you’ve experienced the anxiety-ridden daunting task of shopping for ready-to-wear clothing. Not so funny.  We all understand ready-to-wear doesn’t always exist in the petite woman’s world.

Let’s start with a basic wardrobe essential: a great pair of jeans.  My favorite pair of jeans came to me like a Cinderella tale… (Picture on the right of me in my Hudson in Maroon wax jeans)

Shopping day in Newport Beach with gal pals and we made our way into a designer boutique.  The owner came over to me with a pair of jeans and exclaimed, “you must try these on, darling.”  I did, and they were a perfect fit.  That never happens to me!

The store owner told me he was “overjoyed” to finally meet “the girl that could fit the petite, size 0  jeans,” so he gave them to me as a gift.  Sweet!!! Now I do not ever want to wear another pair of jeans… and we lived happily ever after!  The designer of the “chosen ones” is the Hudson Krista style. What a great petite true fit! NO ALTERATIONS NEEDED (not even shortened and I’m 5’2″ with a short torso and a size 24 waist)!

Next we have some basic guidelines for you to follow.

Bella Celebrities and Jeans
Bella Petite Celebrities Favorite Jeans


Bella Petite Celebrity Hilary Duff in blue denim shirt grey skinny jeans and brown suede ankle boots
Bella Petite Celebrity Hilary Duff in blue denim shirt grey skinny jeans and brown suede ankle boots in Los Angeles.

There are hundreds of styles, cuts, and brands of jeans. It’s an overwhelming task for many of us, petite ladies, to find the “right” pair of jeans, so here’s a basic guide to getting the right fit in your jean.  The first key is the inseam.  Most petite women require a 29-31″ inseam, not the average 33″-34″ inseam. The right inseam will help avoid the always dreaded “mom look.”


Petite women with larger hips should opt for trousers and straight leg cuts.  Avoid extreme flare styles and baggy jeans.  Also, say no to slim cuts, as they aren’t cut well to accommodate larger frames.  You don’t want to look like you are wearing miniature leggings.  My suggested brand picks; J Brand, Levi’s 515 straight cuts, Right Fit Jeans, Joe’s Jeans, Lucky, Tahari, and David Kahn. Citizens of Humanity is another FAVORITE line that offers many attractive styles. All of these brands come in an optional stretch style.  A definite plus for comfort conscious consumers.

Bella Petite Hudson Straight Leg Jean
Bella Petite: Presents the Hudson Straight Leg Jean for petite women.


Petite women with small hips should look for low-rise hip, bootcut, and straight leg cuts. Flared styles are fabulous as they will lengthen the legs and add a few inches, even without heels!  The flare cuts look fabulous on women with narrow or average hips, adding balance to the figure.  You, lucky lady, can pick any jean style or cut according to your preference.

Finding the right jean length is essential.  The perfect jeans will barely skim the tops of your shoes and increase your “visible height.”

Some great brands for this effect are Hudson, JBrand, Max Studio, Levi’s 515 Boot Cut West Coast, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, 7 For All Mankind, and Citizens of Humanity. All mentioned brands offer petite versions in their lines, which have well-defined proportions for the petite frame.

Next, we have some wonderful suggestions for the petite plus-sized or full-figured petite woman.


Petite Plus Sized Denim Cuts
Bella Petite Presents Plus Sized Denim Cuts For Petite Women.

Petite plus-sized or full-figured size 12 plus should apply the general rule that low-rise cut, hip hugger, and boot cut, can make you appear heavier. Select stretch fabrics that won’t cut off at the waist for easier fit and comfort.  Selecting a mid to high rise style may be the best for you!

This year it seems high waisted jeans are in style.  The high waisted cut is ideal for your specific figure.  You will experience a higher degree of difficulty finding a good fit, but try retailers like Lane Bryant, Casual Corner, Chico’s, Fashion Bug, and Catherines Plus-sizes. Some brands to look for: Levi’s 512 Shaping Boot & Straight Cuts, Right Fit Jeans, Calvin Klein, David Kahn, and Lee Jeans.


Capris make you look shorter
FASHION TIPS FOR PETITE WOMEN: FASHION NO-NO’S Capris make you look shorter.

Okay no matter what they say about Capri’s, they are OUT OF STYLE for PETITES! Capri’s simply are not flattering to a “petite fit” or “petite plus-sized” frame they cut off your height and make you look shorter. Not cute, and they rarely look good on any woman.

small cuffs jeans
Bella Petite Magazine on Small Cuff Jeans for petite women.

However, if you’re tall with a perfect figure Capri’s might be for you!

Small cuffs on your jeans are okay.  Otherwise, you may look shorter and dumpy.  Don’t emphasize the bottom of your legs. Avoid extreme flat shoes.  You need a little lift!

Let us know what you think.  What’s your favorite pair of jeans?  Share in comments below.

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Bella Petite Cover Models
Bella Petite Magazine Cover Girls Copyright ©


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  1. Hi there! Is this a fairly new blog? I'm your new follower, so just curious. Great info 🙂


  2. Oh my goodness, I am so happy I found this site… I will have to throw out 3/4 of my closet because of it, but I needed help! I’m a 5’1″ hourglass (with a little post baby belly that I need to lose) and don’t feel confident in any of my clothes. I now realize I shouldn’t be wearing any of them! I wish I could bring you shopping with me for extra input! Haha.

  3. I love the article (mostly) and your site. I just found it and I'm happy I did. I do have to say that I don't agree with the end of this article. I am tried of everything telling petites not to wear flats. I went years with never wearing flats and I'm glad when I finally brought them back into my life. Yes, the flats will do nothing to give you height but there are times to embrace your stature and give your feet a rest. You can still look amazing while not wearing heels.

    1. Great to have your commentary on the site. We appreciate and value everyone's opinion. Many fashion experts tend to advise petites against extreme flats, they aren't flattering to a petite figure or even a tall women. All we're saying is if you're after your best look try to wear atleast a two inch heel. I do agree flats are fun and easy on your feet though! Don't forget to JOIN as a BellaPetite Member!

  4. I’m 5’2″ and the only jeans that fit me perfectly are Allison Izu’s! Great advice! thanx!

    1. Hi Ria, we agree Allison Izu jeans are the perfect fit for us petite gals! She sent us her entire collection. We shot a great editorial and the jeans fit all of us (height range 5’1″ to 5’5″) with no alterations needed.

  5. I’m 5’3 and my husband bought me a really cute pair of Boyfriend jeans from Zara I tried then on and I my 8 year daughter loved it ;because it’t not the really baggy uglu ones what should i do wear them or nor Please hepp me. (and how should i cuffed them }

  6. Excellent article on great fitting jeans for petites…I am off to shop! More stuff like this. I like it very much.

  7. Great article, but I disagree with your comments on capris! I’m a petite lady myself (not quite 5’3″) with a slim, houglass figure, and I look great in them. The secret to pulling them off is to get the right length and to pair them up with shoes in the same (or similar) colour. (For example, navy capris with navy or black shoes.) You also need to pick capris with slim legs and a slim fit. Mind you, capris are easier to carry off if you are a taller petite (5’2″ and over) with proportionately longer legs (my body type). And if you are a long-legged taller petite, you can even pull off capris with small cuffs. I have a dark blue denim pair of capris with turned-up cuffs. I’ve been photographed in these capris and didn’t look short-legged in them at all.

  8. Very helpful article. However, I disagree with your view on capri pants. Even though I’m only 5’2.5″, I look good in capris. Petite women can wear capris if the capris are slim-fitting and the correct length and if they are worn with shoes in the same color or color family (e.g., navy capris with navy or black shoes). Capris are probably best suited to long-legged, taller petite women of 5’2″ to 5’4″ (a group I fit into), though they might work for shorter women if the proportions are correct. Some long petite women can even wear slim-fitting capris with cuffs. I own a pair of dark blue denim capris with cuffed bottoms, and I don’t look short-legged in them at all.

  9. Hi, I’m happy to have just found your magazine. I looked at the companies recommended under “petite with big hips” and none of them carry an inseam short enough for me! Several times a year I go on an (online) quest to find jeans with my inseam and I go crazy. I have had ones from Delia’s that fit lengthwise, but they’re really not well made. I am 5’1 and I think 26″ is best for me. Help! A lot of petite pants are still several inches too long for me.

    1. Hello Tatiana, try and for jeans. Both Hudson jeans and Allison Izu make great fitting jeans for petite women. When it comes to length and inseam it is likely best to go with Allison Izu since her jeans are made specifically for petite women 5’6″ and shorter and also available at Nordstrom. Keep in mind that hemming a jean is less important than a proper inseam size. Good luck!

  10. I am 4’11 and have a very hard time finding jeans to fit in the waist without constantly pulling them up. I am evenly proportioned, but short waisted. Of course I have to always hem them. What type of jeans should I look for?

  11. Hello I am a petite full figure over 50 woman. Size 14 with a short waist. I have spent a life time searching for perfect pants…contrary to what we are told…I buy my jeans and roll the waist under or over simply because I don’t want added fabric on my mid section. I love hip huggers and yes I know they are suspose to make short legs look even shorter…I compensate by going longer a with the leg length and wearing heels wit a blouse that goes to mid hip. Just wondering if everyone agrees with the fashion experts or do they just have preferences that they are afraid to share with the fashion industry?

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